#FreshCalligraphy: The Tools

For those just tuning in, my theme for 2018 is "starting fresh" and getting back to the basics of calligraphy. For the month of January, I'm inviting you into my process and to see if we can start fresh in learning, growing, and creativity. 

Over the last five years, I think I've somewhat figured out my preferred way of practicing and beginning a calligraphy session. Compared to where I began, there are so many good (and some that are meh) resources out there for beginners and beyond. 

I don't think you absolutely need all of these things, but this is what I've found I turn to most often when strictly practicing calligraphy. 

3 places I generally purchase supplies:

LOCAL: Texas Art Supplies

ONLINE: John Neal Bookseller (JNB) & Paper Ink Arts. Their prices are pretty comparable, but I've found JNB to have better explanations behind their nibs, holders etc. 

1.  NIBS I'm using for practice and work (I've included the link in each picture to where I purchase them online.)

2. The holders I'm using. I use oblique holders over straight almost exclusively, although I do have a few straight holders from when I first began. Heads up:  there are often different holders for different nibs. If you are just starting, I suggest getting the Zebra G nib with Blackwell holder. 

3. The paper I'm using (yes, I even have a specific paper I prefer to practice on!)

4. RESOURCES for learning.

Elanor Winter's book, "Mastering Calligraphy," has been my go-to for drills, refreshing on a certain letter form, and all around guidance for a standard copperplate. 

I also regularly visit the Iampeth website (i.e. master calligraphy club of sorts) for lined practice sheets, tutorials, and support. I'll share more on this later, but I HIGHLY downloading their FREE  layout guides. The paper I mentioned above is wonderful for practice. I lay it over my guides so I don't have to keep printing paper...

5. The Ink I'm using. 

There you have it! Join me this month as I get back to the basics. 

Christmas Gift Roundup: Calligrapher & Hand Lettering

Confession: We're already listening to Christmas music around here. Felt it was only appropriate to do a Calligrapher Christmas Gift Roundup. Here are some great gift ideas for that budding or experienced creative in your life. 

If you click on the pictures, a link should take you straight there. Starting from LEFT to RIGHT:

  1. TOTE: From Saint Signora
  2. MUG: From Etsy. 
  3. LEATHER NOTEBOOK: From Huckberry.
  4. OBLIQUE PEN: From Paper Ink Arts. 
  5. ARTIST'S KIT: From Saint Signora.
  6. CALENDAR: From Emily Jeffords. (She's one of my favorite Instagram/Snapchat accounts to follow as well.)
  8. MODERN CALLIGRAPHY BOOK: Great gift for beginners! Click on the pic for a link to amazon.
  9. TRINKET DISH: Anthropologie. I have the "A" and it's perfect for holding all those odds and ends on my desk.
  10. CAT TAPE DISPENSER: Because...Duh. BritCo.
  11. NIB HOLDER: This pretty is from  MP Oblique
  12. SLIDER WRITER: Husband got me this for my birthday. GAME CHANGER. Not a necessity when you first start (I recommend a light box to really get a knack for sizes of letter forms), but oh man...I lerve it. Loads of places sell this. The pic is from PaperInkArts. 

Floral Workshop | Houston | November 13, 2016 | West Studios

My sweet friend, Heather Hayes, from Everything Beautiful Floral in OKC, is coming down to Houston, November 13th to host a Floral Workshop at West Studios. We'll learn how to make floral crowns, eat amazing snacks, drink fall drinks, and have our head shots taken by the amazing Bethany Brewster (You might even get a custom Caroline Calligraphy name plate...ya never know.) 

Sign up here. Limited spots available. 



It's time to begin. 

One of my biggest fears in learning hand lettering and calligraphy was, "What if I stink? What if NO ONE LIKES ME? What is no one wants to be my friend at the end of this??" 

But one day - I woke up and just began working. It was messy (really...I tried to POUR ink into my automatic pen. Jesus take the wheel), but so rewarding. 

If you're into messy, handwritten desktop backgrounds. Here's one I made for myself. 

TODAY is a great time to begin.